Kevin Woyjeck Yarnell Hill Fire - KPTV - FOX 12

Kevin Woyjeck

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For Kevin Woyjeck, the fire station was always a second home.

His father, Capt. Joe Woyjeck, is a nearly 30-year veteran of the Los Angeles County (CA) Fire Department, and his two uncles were firefighters there as well.

Keith Mora, an inspector with that agency, said Kevin often accompanied his dad to the station and on ride-alongs, and always intended to follow in his footsteps.

"He wanted to become a firefighter like his dad and hopefully work hand-in-hand," Mora said outside of the fire station in Seal Beach, CA, where the Woyjeck family lives.

Mora remembered the younger Woyjeck as a "joy to be around," a man who always had a smile on his face. He was trained as an EMT and worked as an Explorer, which is a mentorship training program to become a professional firefighter.

"He was a great kid. Unbelievable sense of humor, work ethic that was not paralleled to many kids I've seen at that age. He wanted to work very hard," Mora said.

Kevin Woyjeck's grandmother, Delores Woyjeck, said her grandson wanted to follow in his father's footsteps, first joining the Los Angeles County Fire Department Explorers Club when he was 15. After working for several years as a firefighter he joined a hotshot team in South Dakota. From there he joined the Granite Mountain Hotshot Crew in April 2013.

Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby stated, "Kevin and I just spoke a few months ago about how excited he was to be a hotshot in Arizona." 

Kevin joined the Granite Mountain Hotshots, which is part of the fire department serving Prescott Arizona, in order to gain the wildland firefighting experience that he thought would be valuable for his desired job in the Los Angeles County Fire Department, his father said.

His parents, a brother, 19, and his 16-year-old sister Maddie, who says there are so many things she will miss about her brother, survive him.

"I'm going to miss his smile, his laugh, the way he said 'I love you,' and he was so outgoing, he could walk into a room and just start a fire inside of somebody," she said.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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